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There are 129 different areas of practice listed on this site, but the one that is not listed is legal malpractice

Portage, IN |

Why is it that lawyers will not sue other lawyers? This industry is far too biased. I strongly suspect that if a study was done on accountability of professions, lawyers are held accountable less than 5% relative to other professions. I have called the ABA in my state, both local and other counties and have only found "1" attorney they tell is listed as a legal malpractice attorney. I have contacted over 30 law offices (both local and out of other counties) and NONE will take on a legal malpractice. I believe there is a "code" in place that lawyer just do not sue other lawyers. That said, how do I find a lawyer or a law firm that will consider a legal malpractice case?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Many lawyers make a living from suing lawyers. You google legal malpractice lawyer and start calling the firms advertised.

  2. Ms. Holton is correct, Google is your friend here. But I'd also make a couple of further observations:

    1. You did flag your question with "legal malpractice", so that is a specialty or keyword listed on this site.

    2. Like many things, there are some non-conspiratorial explanations for why there are few lawyers who specialize in legal malpractice or who devote their entire careers to legal malpractice, other than the lawyers are all "covering for each other" and refuse to sue someone else in the "brotherhood". There are lots of lawyers, it's a competitive profession for the good business out there and generally you can find people to litigate where there's money to be had, either from the client or from "contingency cases" like auto accidents, where negligence liability and damages are clear.

    In legal malpractice, most often, despite what some clients may think about their cases, negligence and liability is usually not clear like an auto accident or a physician who leaves a surgical instrument inside a patient or operates on him while inebriated. You have to prove (1) the attorney was substandard compared to all similar attorneys in your area, (2) that "but for" the attorney's malpractice, you would have won a case or prevailed in a defense and (3) there were quantifiable damages. This is a steep hurdle, and there are therefore few successful malpractice cases and you won't usually find attorneys therefore who will take them "on the come" as contingency cases. Usually, the only actionable legal malpractice claims are where an attorney misses a drop dead filing deadline and it's entirely his or her fault he did so, in other words, clear, "slam dunk" negligence solely attributable to the attorney.

    Similarly, because there are few good cases, most of the attorneys practicing legal malpractice exclusively and piling up a lot of experience work on the defense side for the insurance carriers. They typically only do defense and many such attorneys who work for insurance carriers (typical negligence as well as legal malpractice) are "captive" law firms who work directly for the insurance companies under "fake" (well I call them fake) law firm names with addresses inside an insurance company building.

    So, for the above reasons, Avvo isn't covering for attorneys like you think. It's just a very small practice area for good reason, like Admiralty Law.

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  3. We are regulated pretty closely by the Bar in our states. And in addition there are lawyers who specialize in legal malpractice. The reason that there Re fewer lawyers doing this is because you have to know the law in the underlying case. So for example I would take a legal malpractice case on either personal injury or medical malpractice but not in criminal or family, law. There is less of a coDe in this profession than in medicine. And in addition the law is specific to each state but even though medicine has a universal standard it is extremely difficult to get experts in the same locality as the offender.

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